Somewhere between youth and growing old lies the land of ‘figure out,’ which was a cracked divide between what I wanted and consequences of my actions. Peaceful heart, loneliness, loss, confusing disappointments surface. Remembering rough alcoholism, two failed marriages with the third one cresting to shore, I can better understand how to deal with the divide.
Childhood concerns come to mind. Remember when it was a big deal to decide what to wear, who to impress? Then bigger questions came up, “Where do I want to go after high school? Anywhere away from here, but mountains would be great.”
For years, I lived inside a crack, with shallow people who are no longer in my life. Rough surfaces fueled my false self, slick substances and buried emotions whispered like ghosts. My soul said, ‘Take a chance and do something, to leave this false world.’ I acted, then reacted more than once, recreating another world, again.
For decades I woke up without thinking about the day’s length, and completed the first task. I would sit up, put my feet on the ground beside my bed, and stand up, turn around and make my bed. As I fluffed pillows, I would think of my mother who taught me to make my bed. Each tug of sheet and smoothing of blankets reminds me it won’t be long until I’m underneath the soft sheets again. Even during my divided life, I turned to make my bed.
Same thing with dishes in my kitchen. I would wash my dishes before leaving for work. Every night when I came home, my sink was clear. Even though it was only an hour before the sink was filled with warm sudsy water. My hands scrubbed pans and swished utensils that I used to feed myself.
Whatever happens, my chores are handled. I know what to do. Even when my life feels divided between me and others, day by day routines still ground me. Texture and thick memories of what needs to be done can create comfort, like a familiar private landscape.
I did chores to soften the divide and make my nest. Control over chaos shelved past confusions. Steadfast decisions, facing the edges between me and the uncertainty craggy surfaces. Routine gives an illusion of order, which heals wounds can bring simple beauty into my life.